Men in the U.S., regardless of income or ethnicity, are less likely than women to regularly see a doctor for preventive care, research shows. Unfortunately, this often results in men not seeking medical care until a disease or health issue has advanced.
“There is no demographic that utilizes healthcare resources less than men between the ages of 18 and 45, followed closely by men ages 45 to 64,” says Dr. Joseph Alukal, a urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and an associate professor of urology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many men had put off appointments for essential exams like prostate cancer screenings and colonoscopies. But, according to Dr. Alukal, it is as important as ever to make these health visits. That’s why he, along with other NewYork-Presbyterian physicians, are making it easier for men to keep up with their annual screenings through the Men’s Health Program, expanding access to high-quality care in Westchester and Manhattan.
“Now is a great time to establish a relationship with a primary care doctor whom you trust and can continue to see on a more regular basis going forward,” says Dr. Alukal. “Especially in a time like this when people are worried about the pandemic, you want to have a physician you trust and can rely on for help when or if you need it.”
Health Matters spoke with Dr. Alukal about what screenings and doctor’s visits men should have during each decade of their lives in order to stay as healthy as possible.